The Rheingold Band is a German music ensemble based in Louisville, Kentucky and southern Indiana. The band was formed in 1963 by a group of first-generation German-Americans that included Dieter Geckler. The Rheingold Band continues today with Geckler at its center. He is joined on stage by a set of local recruits and relatives of the original members, a line-up that has itself lasted 15 years. The band performs polkas, marches, waltzes, and other dance genres, sometimes introducing its own sense of rhythmic “swing” to this traditional German material. Geckler and other members say their goal as a band is to create a high energy, festive atmosphere for dancing and audience involvement.
I went to see the Rheingold Band perform at the German-American Club in Louisville on January 29, 2011. I took photos of the event, and interviewed the band members between sets. Click below to hear one of the instrumental tunes they played that evening.*